Digital Diaries

by Natacha Merritt | Arts & Photography |
ISBN: 3822838365 Global Overview for this book
Registered by okyrhoe of Athens - Αθήνα, Attica Greece on 3/5/2007
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by okyrhoe from Athens - Αθήνα, Attica Greece on Monday, March 05, 2007
"All my thoughts and feelings: I used to write them down. As soon as I had a camera, I stopped writing and recorded my thoughts and feelings with photographs."

"My life has become a bunch of digital photos as opposed to a bunch of written thoughts."

~~~ Natacha Merritt, "Digital Diaries"

It is the point of view that dominates the feel and mood of these images. The lens invades spaces never seen before. At least not in publishable media. Images where the eye, the nose, the mouth are in the foreground, while the breasts, the belly, or the hips become the (inconsequential) background. Merritt places a distance between consciousness and the body. The moment is captured by focusing on the facial expression - sometimes involved, sometimes blank – rather than the experience of the body.

I think she has some way to go, because the girls are still posing for her, for the lens. They see themselves reflected in the photograph before the image has been captured, and this self-consciousness is evident throughout the photo collection.

It might be, though, that this is what Natacha intends to depict: even in the most intimate of acts, we are not giving up our self wholly, to the other, or to the moment. A part of our consciousness observes our own body, and the mind's eye is ever watchful as it re-positions/re-frames/edits the pose, the act, the touch, the expression.

I myself am most aware of my mind's eye as it operates. Sometimes I switch it off, sometimes I allow it to assume control of me, to heighten the physical response by centering on 'how it would appear' to the invisible eye in the sky watching me as I perform/enact this or that. It tells me what to do, it tells me what it wants to see.

It is not circumstantial then, midway through the book's series of images, I notice that Natacha prefers female subjects who most resemble herself. I can't always tell which girl is Natacha and which girl is the model/friend. They have the same physique; they paint their eyes and mouth in similar fashion. They are all a variation of one individual, one point of view. The photographer and the subject become one and the same. All images are self-portraits.

When Natacha is in the frame along with one of her subjects, it is as if I am looking at a pair of sisters, of twins, or two aspects of the same person. One Natacha kisses a foot, while another Natacha stands behind, watching the kissing, and the third Natacha beyond the frame is observing both and capturing them in the image.

I become the fourth Natacha, trying to make sense out of the other three.

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